New Rules for Credit Card Surcharge Law
There have been new rules recently put in place by the state of New Jersey, the state Division of Consumer Affairs on businesses that imposes surcharges on consumers. According to the Credit Card Surcharge Law, a seller shall not impose on a customer who uses a credit card for a transaction a surcharge that is greater than the actual cost to the seller to process the credit card payment. The law is specific and according to a communication from the NJ Office of Attorney General, Credit Card Surcharge Law PL 2021, c381 states:
A seller shall not impose on a customer who uses a credit card for transaction a surcharge that is great than the actual cost to the seller to process the credit card payment (credit card surcharge). If you establishment imposes a credit chard surcharge, you must disclose the amount of the surcharge to the customer prior to the customer incurring any charges for good and services. You must conspicuously display a notice of the credit cards surcharge, including the amount as follows:
- For sellers other restaurants - on a sign at the point of entry and point of sale
- For restaurants- on a sign in the customer service area and on the menu
- If your establishment is processing a credit card payment for a transaction that will occur through an internet site, mobile app or electronic kiosk, you must provide clear and conspicuous electronic notice on the check out page prior to processing the transaction
- If your establishment is processing a credit card payment for a transaction that will occur over the telephone, you must provide verbal notice prior to processing the transaction
Similar to refund policies, a business that charges a surcharge must display the amount of the surcharge to the customer prior to the customer incurring any charges for goods and services. In addition, notice must be displayed at point of entry, point of sale/customer service area and in the case of a restaurant on a printed menu, according to Ronald Heinzman, Director of the Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs. The law also covers Internet sales, mobile applications and telephone sales.
“Simply put the consumer must be advised of the surcharge amount prior to their credit card being charged,” Heinzman said. “The new law was created to protect consumers from establishments that overcharge when it comes to credit card surcharges.”
“While we are actively out in the field spot checking businesses of every type consumers who wish to file a complaint can also do so by calling the Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs by calling 732-929-2105,” Heinzman said. Businesses will be required to make available to the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs any account books, papers, documents and other records for inspection that determines reasonable compliance.